Uzbekistan’s antiquated fixed-line system is creaky and most people prefer to use mobile phones. Local calls cost peanuts and domestic long-distance calls are cheap.
- To place a call to a mobile phone, dial 83 (from a land line) or +998 (from another mobile phone), followed by the two-digit code and the seven-digit number.
- To place a call to a land line, dial 83 (from either a land line or a mobile phone) followed by the two-digit city code and the seven-digit number. If the city code is three digits, drop the 3 and just dial 8.
- If dialling from any Tashkent number (mobile or fixed) to any other Tashkent number, regardless of carrier, just dial the seven-digit number (no code).
- To place an international call from a land line, dial 8, wait for a tone, then dial 10.
International phone calls with Uztelecom (www.uztelecom.uz) cost 1265/1140S per minute to the USA/Europe, or 500S to the neighbouring Central Asian republics.
There are four main Uzbek mobile phone providers: Ucell, Uzmobile, UCell and Beeline. Getting a SIM card isn't all that difficult, but is easiest done at the provider's main Tashkent office. Bring your passport.
Call charges are minuscule and 3G internet coverage is generally fast and cheap. It's fast and easy to add to your balance at any of the hundreds of Paynet booths in every town.